19 September 2019 | Marina Del Mar
16 September 2019 | Venture Harbor, California
15 September 2019 | Ventura Harbor, California
13 September 2019 | San Luis Harbor
10 September 2019 | Monterey
06 September 2019 | Monterey
05 September 2019 | The Pacific Ocean, off the coast of California
04 September 2019 | Pillar Point Marina, Half Moon Bay
26 August 2019 | Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, California
25 August 2019 | Off Fort Bragg, California
24 August 2019 | Humboldt Bay, California
22 August 2019 | Coos Bay, Oregon, USA
20 August 2019 | Coos Bay, Oregon, USA
19 August 2019 | Underway, past Gray’s Harbor Washington, Columbia River
18 August 2019 | Underway, past Cape Flattery, Washington Coast
17 August 2019 | Underway, passing Useless Bay, WA, USA
12 August 2019 | Shilshole Marina, Seattle, WA, USA
13 August 2018 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
13 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa

Roll and Go!

19 September 2019 | Marina Del Mar
Eric Ahlvin | Sunny and air temp in the 70's, water temp is 70
Our next leg down the coast of southern California was to Marina Del Rey. There are lots of high end marinas there, but not a lot of guest slips available. We found a slip at an LA County Park, but it couldn’t be reserved. It was 50 miles from Ventura to Marina Del Rey. We were looking at a long day with an uncertain ending so we decided to do a roll and go.

We got up before dawn, got off the dock at first light and had breakfast underway. The wind eventually increased but it was right on the nose. Our motoring speed dropped below 5 knots, so we decided to sail and put up all working sail (main, staysail and jib). We maintained better than 6.5 knots, but since we were tacking and making good about 45 degrees to our course our actual speed toward our destination was slower than motoring. But it was a lot more fun. We let Ginger (the monitor windvane) steer for a while but discovered we need some more practice in setting her up for success.

Eventually, we succumbed to the need to arrive in daylight and turned the motor back on to motorsail for a couple of hours. Boat speed stayed the same but we were able to point much closer to our destination, so it looked like we would make it by dark. Then the wind turned around, we were able to douse the sails and motored the last hour into the harbor. The locals were out racing, so we got to see some expensive racing machines on our way in. We arrived at our slip just at sunset.

The slip is in a county park in the harbor at Marina Del Rey. Not expensive and not luxurious. But it is in a great location, so we’ll stay three nights and see some sights in LA.

Our crew on the trip down from Seattle did a lot of motoring: here’s a photo for them of all the white sails set.

Getting ready for the next few legs

16 September 2019 | Venture Harbor, California
Eric Ahlvin | 72 and sunny
Devin and Tom helped out by washing the salt off the boat, had a quick last lunch, posed for a photo then grabbed their sea time letters (7 days near coastal, 2 days inland; only 351 more to qualify for a captain’s license) and hit the road for LAX. They were great to have aboard.

On the agenda for the next few days: figure out what to do next. We have plans to be in San Diego on October 1st, but until then we’re free to wander along the southern California coast. Also on the agenda: laundry and provisioning, and maybe a look at the boat project list.

The last leg for Tom and Devin

15 September 2019 | Ventura Harbor, California
Tom Conway | Sunny and 70's
Spent two half days and one night in between at SLO then left for Ventura around 5 PM Saturday for another all-nighter on the high seas. Four people pulling three-hour shifts in pairs, we made it to Ventura early afternoon, just after another great lunch on board. Along the coast fog came and went as we maneuvered around monster oil rigs on one side and a large shipping lane on the other. The moon waxed and waned in the ever-changing fog giving a beautiful, wide and continuous silver path blurring the seam between ocean and sky in which many sea creatures, but mostly dolphins cavorted. Seas were much calmer as we made the turn toward land around Santa Barbara and made our approach to port. Ventura is notably warmer than points north and offers more expansive beach areas. This is where my son and I depart Rover and wish our hosts well as they pursue the larger journey as they continue on to circumnavigate the globe. Thank you, Linda and Eric for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and all that we learned. Listening to “Southern Cross” by CSN will never be the same!

Heading to SLO

13 September 2019 | San Luis Harbor
Crew blogger: Devin | Sunny and 70's
After a long weekend in Monterey we started our (roughly) 26-hour boat ride down to San Luis. I had never been sailing before this trip, much less doing 26ish hours at a time! We were split into two watches, 2 people per watch, in 3 hour shifts. Linda and I were on the second watch while Tom and Eric were the first. While on watch (especially overnight) I was awestruck with the views. Incredible sunsets and sunrises.

We pulled into SLO around 8am and after I slept until 1pm. There are tons of Harbor Seals, Sea Lions, Otters, and avian species, which is awesome to me because there are only seagulls in Virginia (where I’m from). Since we’ve arrived I rested and relaxed on the boat, recovering my energy from such a long night. Tomorrow I’ll be catching the water taxi into town to see what San Luis has to offer.

Chilling in Monterey

10 September 2019 | Monterey
Eric Ahlvin | Partly cloudy, 71F, wind 15 knots form the NW
Our weekend in Monterey stretched out to a long one. We’ve been watching the weather and now we’re projecting to leave tomorrow, Wednesday, September 11. We’ll make up a day by skipping Morro Bay and going directly to Port San Luis. We don’t have a firm deadline until San Diego 10/1, so we’re still taking our time.
While we were here, we polished the external stainless (no teak on a Valiant 42, we polish the stainless every year or two), went for a hike to Asilomar, saw the Monterey Bay Aquarium, provisioned, and did laundry. One of the highlights was a visit to the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum. It’s a small museum and we got personal attention because we were the only guests on a Monday morning.

06 September 2019 | Monterey
Eric Ahlvin | Clear, 73F, light wind (in the marina)
I mentioned in my last post that new crew came aboard for the leg from San Francisco to southern California. It’s been a real pleasure to have Tom and his son Devin aboard. They had zero experience on boats, so they’re coming up a steep learning curve. Most of my experience has been on tall ships, where teaching and safety were priorities, and we pretty much run Rover the same way. It’s probably overkill for tootling around the Puget Sound on a nice day, but good practice for when we go offshore. Tom and his son Devin have been great crewmates, eager to learn and soaking up new things like a sponge, and willing to help out. It’s been lucky that the legs have been gradually longer and more challenging, up until today. Today was an easy day.
Today we crossed Monterey Bay from Santa Cruz to Monterey. We started in fog (< 1/2 mile visibility at the start), so that was a good chance to exercise our skills in keeping a lookout and interpreting the radar. The fog lifted, seas were calm with a light breeze so we had a chance to talk about the parts of a sail, what the lines do, work on some knots and have lunch. After the wind piped up to about 15, we set the jib for about an hour on a broad reach. Much easier steering today than yesterday (then it was the stays’l in 20+ kts of breeze on the same point of sail with >6’ combined seas pushing us around).
Our next leg will include an overnight off shore. The wind is projected to be strong, with gusts of 35-40 kts for the next couple of days, so we decided to sit in Monterey for the weekend, wash the salt off the boat and visit the aquarium. The marina is very nice, and also the most economical we’ve stopped at since Coos Bay. We’re not in a hurry, so we’ll take it easy the next few days.

Image: Devin looking relaxed
Vessel Name: Rover
Vessel Make/Model: Valiant 42
Hailing Port: Seattle. WA
Crew: Eric and Linda
We're making a big change to a cruising lifestyle. Eric retired in 2012 after 32 years in R&D (mostly) at HP. Previous passions included flying and bicycling. Linda will retire in 2013 from Oregon State University. She's been active in Zonta, was a Scoutmaster, and is a champion baker. [...]
Extra: Linda was barrel master and Eric participated in the Jackson Street Vintners; a group of friends that made wine from 2000 to 2013
Rover's Photos - Main
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